What to make of this news? Gamasutra has a bunch of pie charts up today comparing the distribution of ESRB rated games for this and last generations’ consoles. By the looks of these charts the Wii, when compared to the GameCube, looks like a Chucky Cheese’s game room. Meanwhile the ‘cube is Studio 54 in the 1970s.
In my jaded opinion this is really no surprise. First, the entertainment medium in general has trended from R to more PG-13 and PG titles, and I’d apply this shift to video games as well. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t; videogames are a serious, multi-billion dollar industry. Hence, there would naturally be fewer “Mature” games on any given console today (except the Xbox, which actually saw an increase in the number of mature games from 2001-2007. Surprise.). This is doubly true for a Nintendo system, which I whole-heartedly admit welcomes lighter fare with open arms.
The bigger picture here, which I’m sure Gamasutra was getting at, is that the Wii could be become pigeonholed just like its older, profit generating brother. That would be true of the industry wasn’t so shaken up right now. Today, instead of an E rating meaning “for kids,” it really means what it was meant to all along: E is for Everyone.